Desert Yuletide: La Quinta Resort & Club

Find your inner "It's a Wonderful Life" spirit at the historic property.

A SANTA-READY SKY: The nice thing, at Christmas, about waiting on the arrival of the Jolly Old Elf, is this hard-to-dispute fact: The sky is always above us, wherever we happen to be. It might be morningtime, and a pinky sunrise sky, or it might be evening, and lush with stars. But keeping an eye out, and moreover up, for Santa during his big month, means that a bigger, vaster sky, the sort of skyscape that one finds in the desert, may be the preferable way to go (should you want to see if you can see Mr. Claus on approach). In fact, the desert is a delight all-around at the yuletide, from crisp-but-not-cold daytime temperatures to even crisper, bring-a-sweater evening weather. That's exactly what La Quinta Resort & Club, in La Quinta, enjoys each December, mostly every day. And, yep, that big sky above just seems to have more sky to it than most other places' skies do, even with the mountains on the horizon. Ready to gaze to the stars and keep watch for Santa? Then eye the full...

2016 HOLIDAY SCHEDULE... at the resort, which was long famous as the favorite getaway for filmmaker Frank Capra, the man behind "It's a Wonderful Life." The '20s-era property, which has grown to incorporate over 40 pools, keeps that "Wonderful" whimsy high during the holidays with special seasonal dining, spa treatments geared to the merry moment, movie screenings, and, of course, the dramatic tree that stands near the main entrance plaza. And might there be "freshly roasted chestnuts" for snacking upon in the lobby? Well, that's the word. Best get some protein, and sustenance, the better to enjoy that seemingly limitless desert sky for the stars, the moon, and, who knows, a reindeer sighting or two.

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